Education Opportunity Network

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10/12/2017 – Betsy DeVos’s Attack On Public Education Is Just Beginning

THIS WEEK: DeVos Doesn’t Need Congress … Puerto Rican Debt Holder Funds Charter Schools … Charter School Ripoff … Virginia Governor’s Race … Choice Spread Segregation

TOP STORY

Betsy DeVos’s Attack On Public Education Is Just Beginning

By Jeff Bryant

“With less than a year in office, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos is already having the narrative of her impact on the nation’s public schools recast from someone with the power to “single-handedly decimate our public education system” to someone who is capable of only incremental change or who is completely ineffectual altogether. Don’t believe this shift in the storyline.”
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NEWS AND VIEWS

Three Ways Betsy DeVos Could Push School Choice Without Congress

Education Week

“U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos’ school choice agenda has run into roadblocks on Capitol Hill. But, from her perch at the department, she has other levers to get states and districts to offer kids more schooling options, without help from anyone in Congress … Federal officials can give applicants a leg-up if they pitch something choice related, or maybe even if they are a charter school, or part of a district that’s home to a voucher program … DeVos can give speeches on the virtues of choice, and travel to schools and districts where she thinks choice is making a positive difference … DeVos is probably going to get moving on … adopting a weighted student-funding formula [that] could make it easier for districts to operate school choice programs.”
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The Hedge Funder Who Secretly Bought $1 Billion In Puerto Rican Debt Is Also A Secret Backer of Charter Schools

Alternet

“Billionaire hedge funder Seth Klarman is … one of the largest holders of Puerto Rico’s skyrocketing public debt … When officials in Massachusetts forced a secretive political organization to reveal its donors, Klarman’s name topped the list. Of the more than $15 million Families for Excellent Schools spent pushing last November’s failed ballot initiative to increase the number of the state’s charter schools, $3.3 million came from Klarman, the most from any single individual … The lesson here is that the growing crisis caused by charter schools in school districts nationwide is very much a manufactured one. It’s Naomi Klein’s ‘disaster capitalism’ at a slower pace.”
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For-Profit Schools Get State Dollars For Dropouts Who Rarely Drop In

ProPublica

“U.S. Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos has championed charters and for-profit education, contending in congressional testimony that school choice can lower absenteeism and dropout rates. But … a ProPublica-USA Today investigation found, the drop-outs rarely drop in – and if they do, they don’t stay long … Such schools aggressively recruit as many students as possible, and sometimes count them even after they stop showing up, a practice that can generate hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer-paid revenue for empty desks. Auditors have accused for-profit dropout recovery schools in Ohio, Illinois, and Florida of improperly collecting public money for vanished students.”
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Future Of Public Education In Virginia At Stake In Governor’s Race

The Washington Post

“The outcome of Virginia’s race for governor, the country’s marquee statewide election this year, will have widespread significance for the state’s roughly 1.29 million schoolchildren … The contest pits Republican Ed Gillespie, who has received more than $100,000 in donations from the family of U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, against Democrat Ralph Northam, who has accepted at least $465,000 from teachers unions … Gillespie and Northam both … diverge sharply when it comes to public charter schools and using tax dollars to help parents pay tuition at private schools.”
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What Does DeVos’s Charter School Expansion Hold? Look To Minnesota

The Progressive

“The U.S. Department of Education announced plans to shower a whopping $253 million in grants to expand charter schools in a handful of states, buoying the nation’s ‘school choice’ market … But if we follow the money to Minnesota, set to receive a huge chunk of this federal jackpot, we see how it is dangerous to our students, our schools, and the future of public education for all … Getting rid of the deduction would ‘decimate public education … Funding school choice pits privately managed, publicly (and privately) funded charter schools against public school districts – especially when the charter schools are allowed to serve racially and economically isolated populations. As a result, Minnesota has an increasingly racially segregated school landscape.”
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Category: EON Newsletters

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